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The Health Psychology Lab

The Health Psychology laboratory was established in 2000 by Dr. Ramani Durvasula.  The focus of our research is the interface of health, health behaviors, illness and psychology.  Our current research focus is on two areas:  adherence to healthy behaviors and psychological factors in HIV disease.

Adherence to healthy behaviors:  We are beginning pilot studies examining adherence to a wide variety of healthy behaviors and risk behaviors including diet, exercise, smoking, substance use, safe sex, preventive health behaviors, preventive health care, and medication adherence.   This work will examine the predictors of adherence to both healthy behaviors and engagement in risky behaviors.  The goal of this work is to develop interventions to promote healthy behaviors in a variety of populations.  There will be multiple opportunities for students to become involved in this work, and interested students are welcomed to contact Dr. Durvasula at rdurvas@calstatela.edu.

HIV Related Research:  Much of this work draws from large datasets examining neurocognition and medication adherence in HIV infected individuals.  Most of Dr. Durvasula’s HIV related research to date has been focused on women and ethnic minority group members.  Results of this work have been published in journals including Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Mental Health, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, and Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.  In addition, this work has been published at numerous regional, national, and international conferences.  A recent example of research conducted by students and faculty in this lab was the poster session entitled “BELIEFS, KNOWLEDGE, SELF-EFFICACY AND MEDICATION ADHERENCE IN HIV+ WOMEN”.

  Students in Dr. Durvasula’s laboratory have presented or been co-authors on work presented at the meetings of the Western Psychological Association, Research Society on Alcohol, and the American Psychological Association